Hong Kong: Retail sales soar to over two-year high in July
August 29, 2017
July retail sales volume expanded a robust 4.6% in annual terms, which followed June’s revised 0.5% growth (previously reported: +0.4% year-on-year) and was the highest reading since February 2015. July’s significant acceleration was the third consecutive month of growth and suggests that the retail sector may have finally emerged from its almost two-year slump, thanks to stronger local demand and a recovery in inbound tourism.
Growth was broad-based across outlet types, but notable gains were made in the sales of luxury items, which skyrocketed 16.2% year-on-year. The largest declines were recorded in supermarkets, fuels, and footwear and other clothing accessories.
The three-month moving average of seasonally-adjusted volumes of retail sales ending in July increased 1.3% from the preceding three-month period. This result followed the 2.5% increase seen in the three-month period ending in June.
A government spokesperson noted that:
“Looking ahead, local consumer sentiment should remain sanguine under favorable job and income conditions. Nonetheless, the near-term performance of retail sales would also hinge on the recovery pace of inbound tourism amid various uncertainties in the external environment.”
Author: Lindsey Ice, Economist